The Primetime Emmy Awards are back once again! This year will be the 65th annual award show for excellence in television and this time it’ll be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris. I’m sure we can all agree that he’ll do an awesome job. As for the nominees, history was made this year when Netflix received it’s first ever Primetime Emmy Award nominations for online only web television. What this means is that the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences officially recognizes online television as actual legitimate television and worthy of receiving all forms of accolades. The fact that House of Cards, Arrested Development, and Hemlock Grove got nominations is a huge deal (Hemlock Grove was nominated for Outstanding Special Visual Effects and Outstanding Main Title Theme Music which I will not cover here).
I have been a fan of the Emmy Awards for many years, but something I have noticed over time is how incredibly predictable the nominations can be. If a recurring show was nominated one year, there’s a really strong chance it’ll get nominated the next year, and the year after that, and sometimes even the year after THAT. A significant amount of shows nominated this year have already received nominations before, which is at times upsetting because it means that other high quality programs never get the recognitition they deserve. That same goes for actors and actresses. I can’t help but hope every year that the Academy will branch out and truly surprise us but tragically that doesn’t happen very often
That being said, here are the official nominees and my reactions!
Outstanding Drama Series: Breaking Bad (AMC), Downton Abbey (PBS), Game of Thrones (HBO), Homeland (Showtime), House of Cards (Netflix), Mad Men (AMC).
Reaction: If you feel like you have a sickening amount of déjà vu with this category, don’t be alarmed because it’s totally normal. Five out of the six shows nominated this year were competing for the Outstanding Drama Series Emmy last year. Perennial nominees Game of Thrones,Breaking Bad and Mad Men took their typical spots in this top category while Homeland and Downton Abbey came back for the second time. House of Cards is an amazing addition though as it not only beat out favorites Boardwalk Empire and The Good Wife, it’s also a Netflix original program. The fact that it got a coveted spot in the biggest category of the night is amazing. What I’m disappointed with however is how top-rated programs like Newsroom and The Walking Dead weren’t able to nudge their way in. I’ll admit that hoping The Walking Dead would be in the Outstanding Drama category was a shot in the dark at best, but I thought Season 3 was amazing and the show’s best chance at reaching this height. Predictability aside, there’s no denying that all the shows nominated deserve to be up there, and I’m officially hoping for Game of Thrones to take the top prize.
Outstanding Comedy Series: 30 Rock (NBC), The Big Bang Theory (CBS), Girls (HBO), Louie (FX), Modern Family (ABC), Veep (HBO).
Reaction: The same feeling of déjà vu can be applied to the Outstanding Comedy Series as well. This time around Louie replaced Curb Your Enthusiasm and I couldn’t be happier. Curb Your Enthusiasm is a great show but Louie C.K. has been riding on a massive wave of popularity as of late. His show has consistently received rave reviews and every single person who watches his stand-up says he’s one of the best comedians of all-time. Louie absolutely deserves its spot in this major category as does every other program nominated. Whether or not anyone can beat reigning comedy juggernaut Modern Family remains to be seen, but I’d say Girls has the best shot to unseat this highly praised ABC program. It did beat Modern Family to win the Golden Globe for Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical after all.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Hugh Bonneville as Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham on Downton Abbey (PBS), Bryan Cranston as Walter White on Breaking Bad (AMC), Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy on The Newsroom (HBO), Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men (AMC), Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody on Homeland (Showtime), and Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood on House of Cards (Netflix).
Reaction: Move over Steve Buscemi and Michael C. Hall, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Daniels are in town. This isn’t the first time that Spacey has received an Emmy nom, but it is for Daniels who is absolutely stellar in The Newsroom. Daniels deserves to be there, and while I have yet to watch House of Cards, I’ve heard multiple times that Spacey kicks ass so his nomination is hardly a surprise. Hamm, Lewis, Cranston, and Bonneville were total locks from last year too. I can’t help but view Andrew Lincoln’s role as Rick Grimes on The Walking Dead as a huge snub though. He did an excellent job in Season 3 and a lot of publications predicted 2013 to be his year on the list. Unfortunately that is not the case. The same can be said for Hugh Dancy in Hannibal who is disturbingly amazing in his role as Will Graham.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Connie Britton as Rayna Jaymes on Nashville (ABC), Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison on Homeland (Showtime), Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley on Downton Abbey (PBS), Vera Farmiga as Norma Louise Bates on Bates Motel (A&E), Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson on Mad Men, Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope on Scandal (ABC), Robin Wright as Claire Underwood on House of Cards (Netflix)
Reaction: Danes, Moss, and Dockery are the only returners in this category which is a total shock. Britton, Farmiga, and Wright are complete newcomers who are nominated from their respective show’s first season, a true testament to their talent and the quality of their programs. Washington is new as well but Scandal is already moving on to Season 3. Wright for House of Cards isn’t a surprise considering the sheer amount of nominations that show has received and neither is Washington as I’ve heard Scandal is one hell of a show. However, Farmiga for Bates Motel and Britton for Nashville came out of left field for me. I’ve heard good things about both of those programs but not to the amount of everything else. The fact that one of them bested Julianna Margulies for The Good Wife is astronomically huge. Danes won this award last year but the amount of newcomers in this category leaves the possibility of an upset wide open.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock (NBC), Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth on Arrested Development (Netflix), Louis C.K. as Louie on Louie (FX), Don Cheadle as Marty Kaan on House of Lies (Showtime), Matt LeBlanc as Himself on Episodes (Showtime), and Jim Parsons as Dr. Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory (CBS).
Reaction: A nomination for Parsons, Cheadle, Baldwin, and C.K. was obvious considering last year’s list, but LeBlanc and Bateman?! What a twist! LeBlanc has had very little success since his work on Friends so I did not see his nomination coming at all. As for Bateman, I’m absolutely ecstatic that he’s there. I loved this new season of Arrested Development and the fact that Bateman is able to score a nomination after a seven year hiatus is huge. It’s also a surprise that Jon Cryer didn’t get a nomination for Two and a Half Men, making him one of the few main winners from last year to not come back this year. Who will win this is entirely up in the air but clearly everyone nominated deserves the award.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Laura Dern as Amy Jellicoe on Enlightened (HBO), Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath on Girls (HBO), Edie Falco as Jackie Payton on Nurse Jackie (Showtime), Tina Fey as Liz Lemon on 30 Rock (NBC), Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer on Veep (HBO), Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation (NBC).
Reaction: If the previous Golden Globes ceremony is any indication, this could be a big year for Dunham in this category. She beat out Louis-Dreyfus for the Best Performance in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical Globe and could very likely do it again for an Emmy. Fey, Poehler, and Falco were obvious picks for returners as well, but I’m very surprised at the inclusion of Dern for Enlightened. The show had great ratings but tanked in viewership, which is a problem that last year’s nominee but not returner Zooey Deschanel doesn’t have for New Girl. It’s very possible that this is more of a nomination to recognize Dern for her work on her clearly underappreciated program.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut on Breaking Bad (AMC), Bobby Cannavale as Gyp Rosetti on Boardwalk Empire (HBO), Jim Carter as Charles Carson on Downton Abbey (PBS), Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister on Game of Thrones (HBO), Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad (AMC), Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson on Homeland (Showtime).
Reaction: That’s right, 2013 will be a year where screen legend Buscemi is shut out and co-star Cannavale is brought in. This is definitely something I did not see coming. The same goes for Banks who was great in Breaking Bad but I never thought of as “Emmy worthy.” Paul is the current winner of this award though which him and Dinklage have switched on and off with since 2010. It’s likely that the award will come down between those two again, but any of the newcomers might take us by surprise. They are all major parts of highly praised programs after all. I would’ve loved Nikolaj Coster-Waldau to get his first nom, I personally pegged him as a front runner in our Season 3 recap, but Dinklage is one tough actor to top.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart on The Good Wife (CBS), Morena Baccarin as Jessica Brody on Homeland (Showtime), Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones (HBO), Anna Gunn as Skyler White on Breaking Bad (AMC), Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris on Mad Men (AMC), Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham on Downton Abbey (PBS).
Reaction: Emilia Clarke everybody! The Khaleesi herself! Despite being fan favorite star on Game of Thrones, this is the first nomination for Clarke. It’s also the first time that anyone other than Dinklage was nominated for an acting role. I’m sure it goes without saying that I want her to win. Smith is the current champ however and her returning does not bode well for everyone else as she is amazing. Baranski representing The Good Wife over the aforementioned Margulies is a definite shock as well. There are also two massive snubs in the form of Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter) and Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones). 2014 will likely be Carpenter’s year since Dexter is ending, but this was Fairley’s best shot from her final performance in “Rains of Castamere” (which was nominated for Outstanding Writing). Alas, she is absent, and that sucks.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy on Modern Family (ABC), Adam Driver as Adam Sackler on Girls (HBO), Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell Pritchett on Modern Family (ABC), Bill Hader as Various Characters on Saturday Night Live (NBC), Tony Hale as Gary Walsh on Veep (HBO), Ed O’Neill as Jay Pritchett on Modern Family (ABC).
Reaction: I don’t know about you, but I take issue with the fact that Modern Family has three nominees in this category while everyone else as at most two in others. I get that the show is hilarious but there’s no reason why it should take half the nominees and prevent other deserving actors from getting in. Where’s the love for Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation or David Cross as Tobias Fünke in Arrested Development? Hale has gotten a lot of praise for Veep so his nomination is hardly a surprise, and considering that Hader left SNL this year I fully expected his nomination as well. I don’t watch Girls however so I didn’t except a nom for Driver, but perhaps other fans of the show can attest to his quality as a comedic actor. Clearly he must be doing something right if he’s here over last year’s winner Eric Stonestreet from Modern Family!
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Mayim Bialik as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory (CBS), Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy on Modern Family (ABC), Anna Chlumsky as Amy Brookheimer on Veep (HBO), Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney on 30 Rock (NBC), Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester on Glee (FOX), Sofía Vergara as Gloria Pritchett on Modern Family (ABC), Merritt Wever as Zoey Barkow on Nurse Jackie (Showtime)
Reaction: Seeing as Kristen Wiig left SNL last year and Desperate Housewives officially ended thereby keeping Kathryn Joosten from the running, there were two wide open spots for 2013. I can’t exactly say I’m surprised that Chlumsky, Lynch, and Krakowski filled the void, with an extra nomination in tow. Lynch and Krakowski have been nominated before for these exact roles (not last year), but this is the first nom for Chlumsky for Veep. She’s easily a good fit considering how immensely popular that show is.